Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kaisercraft advent calendar part 2

So I have assembled the outer shell. But before I decorate it, I decided to tackle the drawers. I wanted to know how they would need to be constructed, because that would influence how I was going to decorate them.

The drawers come cut and pre-scored in separate packets with 5 drawers in each. They are made from thick chipboard. They are essentially a cross shape, with a semi-circle in the top of the front panel, so you can pull out the drawer.

Which brings me to issue number 1: how to adhere the drawer sides together. Glue? Tape? Again, I was on my own due to the lack of instructions. I decided on double sided tape, because it was quicker, less messy and more trustworthy as an adhesive.

Hello issue number 2: a drawer with tape all over the outside is going to be one seriously ugly drawer. Painting isn't going to work over tape, so that leaves me with covering it with paper. So I used strips of double sided tape to hold the drawer in shape and adhere the paper.

So we arrive at issue number 3: what about the inside? Leave it nude? cover it with paper too? Paint? I decided to go with paint- paper seemed that way too much effort for 25 drawers. I am happy to report that the chipboard takes acrylic paint very well, and because it is thick there is no warping. But I recommend good quality acrylic paint for this. Watery paint isn't going to give you good coverage and might cause buckling. So the paint has to go on before the paper unless you have meticulous painting skills. (And you don't get a spare couple of drawers just in case.) NB I also painted the exposed edges of the drawer and the score lines on the bottom of the drawer that would be hard to cover with paper.

So for the drawer summary:
  • Good quality thick chipboard pre-scored
  • The ongoing problem of no instructions
  • Adhering the drawers together without using tape would be difficult, so it means ugly tape showing unless you are prepared to cover the outside of the drawers with paper.
  • A couple of spare drawers to make mistakes on (seeing as we have to learn on the go due to the lack of instructions) would have been a nice thought.

My method was to fold along the score lines, then reflatten the drawer and paint the inside, then fold up the sides and use double sided tape to secure them together while the paint is still wet. Then paint the bottom of the drawer and when the paint is dry cover the sides of the drawer with a strip of paper. I used a circle punch to cut out the notch in the paper for the front of the drawer.

I'll be back when I've got the drawers made and the shell painted!


  1. So great to read how you're tackling this project Jen! It'll be so helpful to anyone who's thinking about making one of these. I'm looking forward to the next instalment!

    Sheree xx

  2. Hey Jen,
    I found you! This looks awesome. So much better than my very slack envelopes with numbers on them! Hmmm, me thinks I need to be create and sew something...although it's nearly Christmas eek. Maybe next year!
    I love your blog. So beautifully set out and designed. Well done you.
    Love Trin

  3. Oh my, those boxes are going to be fiddly but seems you've worked out the best way to decorate. No. 1 box looks lovely. Good luck with the other 24 LOL.

  4. Hi--thanks for the tips! FYI...I just found instructions for this advent calender on the Kaisercraft website:


  5. Pritt gel glue works a charm for holding these drawers together!!! No tape needed and you can paint some and leave them plain without covering with paper. Then use a heavy gloss to cover them once the drawer/box is painted and it will give the seams a bit more support to stay together!!!

  6. Hi,
    Thank you, thank you! I have had one of these sitting on my desk waiting for me to have time to start it, I unpacked it last night and then spent the next hour or so searching on line, youtube etc to find some useful info on how to put it together. I had already glued 4 boxes and was deciding the best way to decorate without making it too bulky that it won't slide in properly. Painting is an excellent idea and not as fiddly as lining it with paper. The thought of lining all those boxes was doing my head in, LOL! So 2 years later after your blog entry I still could find little, until I found this, and Sharron's instructions are great too.
    With this info I should get it finished by 1st Dec :)